what should I do in life

Make a Difference in the World: Or The Answer to “What Should I Do in Life?”

still don't know what to be when i grow upI just saw this question posted on reddit.

It’s a question that I keep hearing on there repeatedly and I’ve probably answered it in a number of ways this past year.

So instead of just going down the typical trail of answering his or her question specifically, I’m going to kind of do a blanket answer. Hopefully it will help more people that are searching for the answer of this specific question.

How to Make a Difference In the World:

When people ask the question, “What should I do?”, they’re looking at the world from a perspective of this is how the world is.

Society, in general, has taught us to see it that way. From our early days in school we’re taught to follow, not lead.

Here’s the thing, everyone that has some form of success out there has done it through their own conviction.

They believed that they could have an impact on the world.

“Don’t spend your precious time asking ‘Why isn’t the world a better place?’ It will only be time wasted. The question to ask is ‘How can I make it better?’ To that there is an answer.” – Leo F. Buscaglia


The question that people are really asking when they ask “What should I Do?” is “How do I fit?”

The answer to that question is simpler.

You fit in where you’re adding value to others and getting rewarded for that value.

dane maxwell unplugged

First Step in Adding Value to Others: Find Your Worth

In my interview with Dane Maxwell, one of the things that we talked about was the fact that so many people don’t know their own worth.

And I’m not talking monetarily here. I’m simply talking about how people don’t see how they actually fit in. Their meaning – their purpose.

If you look at Dane today, for example, you’d see him as someone who has built 16 different businesses, is a millionaire with those businesses, has taught others to do the same, and is now becoming a musician. You’d see that he has meaning and he has a purpose.

One might even question why he’s leaving all that success behind to do the music thing. Well, through doing the Foundation the last few years, he’s realized that people struggle more with their worth than they do with starting a business.

Realistically, if you don’t know you have worth, how can you start a business?

How Do You Find Your Worth?

In our interview, he also talks about how people can find their worth. He said that the way you find your worth is learn how to articulate your emotions. That you need to explore the areas in your psyche that make you stress out regularly. So much so that you should be tearing up when these things are coming to your mind.

Find out why those things make you stress out.

Emotionally, I think that’s great advice. If you feel that you don’t have ANY worth, than that’s where you need to start.

But if you do feel like you have worth, but you’re not sure where at exactly, I personally think that the way you find your worth is by figuring out how you can add value to people.

So let’s look at that a bit.

Adding Value to Others:

Feeling like you’re needed by adding value to others is one of the most rewarding feelings you can have. It’s when you know you fit.

Whether or not you start your own business, you can add value to others at any time. As long as you’re getting recognized for your contribution (through being paid or other means), it means there’s a great give and take relationship there between those you’re helping.

If you’re having problems figuring out how you can add value to people in a way that’s meaningful to you, then I’d remember the three P’s.

  • Passion
  • Purpose
  • Process

When you have a true Passion to do something, then you’re going to stick to it no matter what. You’re more likely to do the parts that you love to do as well as those parts that you dislike. If you’re a business owner, you can later pass those parts on to someone else!!

Later, as you find more of how you fit into the world around you, be it offline or online, you’ll find that you have a Purpose. That people have a distinct reason for remembering what you’re about and you identify with that identity they give you.

Hopefully it’s a purpose you’re proud of.

Finally, as you have found your passion and purpose (sometimes it’s the other way around), you start to separate yourself from the rest of the pack by your process. There’s just something that you do and the way you do it that vibes with those around you.

Case in point, I have a mechanic friend who loves to work with his hands. He has always been a hands on person and can do just about anything around the house.

When he started working on cars earlier in his life, he had a natural knack for it. And today, even though he doesn’t have his own shop, he’s found a purpose where he knows he can help others do something they can’t do. During this time he’s also training new mechanics AND he has a great process – he has his clients buy the part (if possible) and has you pay by the job, not the hour. So it’s in his best interest to get the job done right the first time and quickly!

Take Action: Finding Your Value

Ok, so now you know the importance of why you should add value to others. But how do you find what your own value is??

There’s multiple ways. One way is find out what your strengths (StrengthFinders 2.0) are and what makes you standout (Standout). Then think of positions that would utilize those skills.

But a really quick way that you can get started is to answer this question:

What are 20 (total) jobs and/or types of businesses that you’ve thought would be interesting to do sometime in your life?

This list can be anything from being a police officer to being a farmer. You can use as much detail as you’d like.

Also, don’t let money be a barrier. Even monks can monetize what they do.

What’s In Your List?

In case you were wondering, my list looked like this:

  1. Professor
  2. World Traveler
  3. Police Officer
  4. Pastor
  5. Talk Radio host
  6. Business Consultant
  7. Professional Speaker
  8. Dirty Jobs reboot host
  9. Interviewer
  10. Graphic Designer
  11. Politician
  12. Technical Consultant
  13. Uber Driver
  14. High School teacher
  15. Engineer
  16. Organizational Behaviorist
  17. Dog Behaviorist and Trainer
  18. Video game designer
  19. App designer
  20. Photographer
  21. Camera man

The reason you want to have 20 is so that you can allow extremes and have an exhaustive list. You’ll start noticing a trend or pattern in some of your items that you might be able to combine into one piece.

Is it a job that you can find that utilizes that theme? Or could it be better done with a business?

Those of you who have been following me for awhile, probably have realized I’m implementing several of mine from my list into New Inceptions and the podcast!

If you can’t think of many ideas, then you might want to get the books I linked already – then come up with a list that utilizes those skills.

Once you create that list, and you don’t notice a trend for yourself, or have problems making the list AFTER getting the books – use the contact button in the menu and send us your list. We’ll help you think of something!

Leave a Reply

2 replies

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply